The Boarder Kontrol helps new snowboarders gain confidence by providing a removable braking device.
There are few things more gratifying than learning a new skill, but there’s nothing wrong with accepting a little help along the way. We’ve already seen Gyrobike’s Gyrowheel aimed at helping kids learn to ride a bicycle, and recently we came across Boarder Kontrol, a like-minded idea from the world of snowboarding. Stopping and turning are two of the greatest challenges for beginning snowboarders, and that’s where Australian Streetboardz comes in with a board that includes a removable braking device. Consisting essentially of a blade that extends below the board and an attached leash, Boarder Kontrol allows users to slow or stop their snowboard simply by pulling on the leash. Rather than serving simply as a crutch for beginners, however, Boarder Kontrol also “forces the discipline of a trailing hand,” Streetboardz explains. “For years before, particularly when teaching surfboard riders, instructors would make beginners hold their pants at the back leg to prevent beginners’ shoulders from spinning the board out of control.” Engaging the leash also naturally puts the beginner’s weight over the front foot, where it should be, it notes. And as users progress, they can be gradually weaned off the braking device. The video below demonstrates Boarder Kontrol in action: By removing a significant portion of the “terror” associated with learning this popular sport, Boarder Kontrol has the potential to “decrease dropouts, attract female and younger participants, keep family groups together and even widen the market to the risk averse,” notes Streetboardz, which has also developed a similar device for skateboards. Recreation and fitness entrepreneurs: one to get involved in? Spotted by: Murtaza Patel